The Man Utd board have privately admitted they made a mistake by paying over the odds for Antony in the summer, according to reports.
Man Utd signed the Brazilian in the summer transfer window for around €100m from Eredivisie side Ajax with the Red Devils desperate to give new boss Erik ten Hag the tools he needs to be a success.
Antony has so far scored five goals in 16 appearances in all competitions but failed to get an assist and there has been criticism of a number of his performances this season.
Paul Scholes has been particularly critical of the Brazil international, who played four times at the World Cup, with the Man Utd legend calling Antony a “one-trick pony” after criticising the 22-year-old and Sancho in United’s win over Omonia Nicosia in October.
Scholes said: “He was right about the wingers being static. Sancho never really runs in behind. He needs a fast left-back really or a centre forward to link up with and he hasn’t really got that at the moment.
“Antony on the other side as well, he doesn’t run in behind. He seems to be a bit of a one-trick pony.
“He’s always cutting inside and either passing back to the full-back or having a shot. You’re thinking he needs to develop a little bit. It’s still early days for him, we know that.”
And Scholes slammed Antony later in the month when the Brazilian spun with the ball at his feet with no one around him against FC Sheriff.
Scholes said on BT Sport: “If I was that number 61 I know what I would be doing. I don’t know what he is doing, it is just ridiculous.
“It is showboating, he is not beating a man, he is not entertaining anyone. It’s 0-0 then he kicks the ball out of play.
“Look that’s the way he plays I’ve seen him do it many a time at Ajax as well. That’s just the way he is but I think he needs that knocking out of him.”
And ESPN now claim that the Man Utd hierachy ‘accept privately they overpaid, but insist they had their reasons’.
‘Firstly, there weren’t many other options in that position, and while Martinez was one of five left-footed centre-backs they looked at, only three forwards — including Antony — made the shortlist. Secondly, Murtough and the recruitment team were impressed with his desire to join United and, third, their monitoring of the transfer market suggested a number of Europe’s top clubs would be looking for a similar player in 2023, which would only hike up the price even further.’
A Man Utd source told ESPN: “We’ve paid for the player we think he can become, not the one he is now.”